Monday, January 31, 2011

Q&A #8 -Do you you like sized diapers or one-size diapers, velcro or snaps?

The sized or one-size diaper debate:

Sized Diapers
Pros:  Sized diapers, as in you buy the exact size your baby needs (S,M,L,XL), are great when you want the perfect fit.  Like different brands of clothes, different brands of diapers fit babies differently.  I especially like sized diapers for newborns when cloth is especially bulky on a tiny baby.
Cons:  Babies outgrow diapers and need new diapers.  But, is this such a con?  Buying new diapers is fun!

One-Size Diapers:
Pros: One-size diapers are typically designed to fit babies 8lbs to 30lbs, i.e. newborn to toddler.  Definitely good for the budget, one-size diapers are available in every style from covers for prefolds to all-in-ones (AIOs).  These diapers have rows of snaps on the front of the diaper that are snapped up for little babies with more rows left unsnapped as your baby grows.
Cons: One-size diapers tend to be a bit bulkier on smaller babies.  I mentioned that different babies fit different diapers in different ways (like that repetition?) so the concept of a diaper fitting perfectly from the newborn stage to the potty-training years might be a bit misleading as the fit might not be right for your child's changing shape.

My opinion:  I like cloth diapers.  I like one-size diapers.  I like sized diapers.  We have a little bit of everything and they all get used!  Although, with two in diapers, I like the ease of grabbing one-size diapers for my purse so I know both kids are covered with fewer diapers in my purse.

The velcro or snaps debate:

Velcro:
Pros:  According to Taylor, velcro is easier.  You just "dhzjou dhzjou" the diaper and it is done.  I have to agree that it is easier to get the perfect tightness level with velcro which is important in order to prevent leaks around the legs.
Cons: Velcro is a beeotch to wash.  Although most velcro diapers have 'laundry tabs' to close the velcro before it goes in the wash, the tabs rarely stay closed.  Meaning you end up with a big bunch of tangled velcroed together diapers.  While it is a pain to unvelcro the tangle of clean diapers, velcro tabs can also come unsewed from the diapers and look ratty after a thousand repeated washings.

Snaps:
Pros:  Snap diapers are fantastic to wash.  No velcro to untangle and no 'laundry tabs' to worry about.  I also feel that snap diapers look better in the long run with no velcro sticking to the fleece inside of pockets and AIOs.  
Cons:  
To me, it's a pain to snap up a diaper on a wiggly baby.  I also tend to grab a velcro diaper when Liza is wearing jammies with a million snaps because really, who wants 4 more snaps to snap?  I'm not sure if this is a common issue but Liza's snap diapers tend to leak more often around her legs because I don't choose the appropriate snap to get it tight enough.

My opinion:  I am planning on sending all of our velcro diapers to have them converted to snaps.  Taylor isn't thrilled with this plan but snap diapers look better over the long run and are so much easier to wash. 

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Sized or one-size, velcro or snaps?
Which do you prefer?
Which do you own?
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Thank you in advance for your wonderful, thoughtful comments!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tell Me About Wool!

My friend, Mandi, is my first guest blogger!  She loves a baby in wool.......
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I hate to admit it so publicly, but I am addicted to wool diaper covers.

Soakers, Shorties & Longies
Knit, Jersey, Upcycled & Interlock
I can not help myself.
I.Love.Wool.

Like any type of cloth diaper, there are many types of wool covers to choose from to suit your own needs, taste and budget.

Wool covers come in a wide variety of styles.
There are typical covers like pull-on soakers as well as snap-on or tie-on wraps.
My personal favorite is using wool as not only a diaper cover, but also as clothing.
Nothing is cuter than a pair of wool shorties, longies or skirties. 
 Cute AND functional.

As many style options as there are available, there are just as many choices for the type of wool used.
There's super stretchy and durable wool interlock.
Soakers made out of wool interlock are my fave for under clothes as it seems less bulky to me.

Sustainablebabyish (Sloomb) Soaker, Embellished Wild Child Woolies soaker and Rainbow Water interlock longies

Many snapping covers are made of thin, yet absorbent jersey or crepe wool.
If you're looking for an alternative to the typical PUL covers, here's your solution.

My personal favorite and biggest cloth diaper budget buster is knit wool.
This is where the heart of my addiction lies.
There's a whole world out there of wahm dyers and knitters tempting me with their beautiful creations.
 My favorite yarns come from Mosaic Moon
Now, if only I could learn how to knit...

You can even recycle those old wool sweaters collecting dust and turn it into your own upcycled diaper cover.
Or if you are sewing-challenged like myself, you can very cheaply buy them on etsy or hyena cart.
 My personal favorite...Woolybottoms

So, yeah, these are cute.
But, why wool?!?!
Wool is naturally water resistant and breathable while at the same time it can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture.
Really it is the perfect material for a diaper cover.

Many people may be intimidated by caring for wool covers.
But, fear not!
It's quite simple.
Wool covers do not need to be washed with every use. Only if they get soiled should they be washed immediately after using.
Wool with typical use should be washed once every few weeks. I wash about once a month. More frequently with heavier use or if my little one is wetting heavily.
While wool interlock can be machine washed, I choose to hand wash all my wool
Here is a good, in-depth tutorial on washing wool.
My method is to first rinse all my covers in semi-warm water.
Then, using my favorite wool wash, I fill the sink with tepid water and the correct amount of the wool wash.
Wash, let it soak for about 30 minutes, drain and then, roll up in a towel to gently squeeze out excess water.
Lie flat to dry and Voila!
Even though using my favorite wool wash requires no extra lanolizing step, I  like to keep lanolin spray on hand for touch-ups between washings and spraying in the areas that need just a little extra moisture barrier.

So, there you have it!
Everything you need to know to fall in love with wool!

Mandi Sanders is a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing mama to 2 precious boys both born at home in Mississippi. While her love of wool diaper covers give her extra points in the granola department, she allows for equal opportunity enjoyment for all things crunchy. Mandi loves blogging about natural family living and her adventures therein.


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Do you use wool?
What type of wool covers do you prefer?

Tom and Jerry.


While the cat's away.......


the mouse will play!

Friday, January 28, 2011

thinking about sleep.

For the past two nights, Liza has slept better than she has in her entire little life!  Very nice for mama and very nice for everybody else because I am definitely a better person when not sleep deprived.  Be it because I am actually sleeping or because I know this is likely a fleeting phase, sleep is on my mind.

In order to understand my thoughts on infant sleep, you need to understand my thoughts on babies:
Babies are people.  Like you and me, babies have needs that must be met in order to be happy and whole.  Liza's needs are simple -- food, clean diapers, loving interactions, and sleep.  The food is easy.  Liza loves her mama's milk.  Clean diapers are easy especially now that she no longers pees buckets and only has a dirty diaper if I eat dairy.  Loving interactions is the easiest of all.  I mean, really.  She is so flipping cute that I can't stand but to snuggle and play with her all day long.  Sleep.......not so easy.

Actually, sleep is where it gets tough.  As an adult, I need long stretches of sleep.  My body craves at least 8 hours of interrupted sleep.  But, Liza is not an adult.  She is a baby.  Babies do not need long stretches of uninterrupted sleep.  In fact, babies are designed to wake frequently at night.  This article is a wonderful, research based piece on the facts and history of infant sleep.  Even without evidence-based research, common sense tells me that babies are designed to wake frequently at night:  their stomachs are small and breastmilk is easily processed thus designed for frequent feedings, their first 40 weeks of development were spent in a pitch black loud safe place and last but not least, they are babies and everybody knows that babies don't sleep all night long.

So yeah, I totally accept that babies are not designed to sleep like adults.  But this doesn't mean that I do not foster good sleeping habits in hopes that my babies will sleep longer stretches at night.  Trust me.  I foster good sleep with every bone in my body.  We use white noise machines, a swaddle, light layers, a small heater in Liza's room, sleepy cues like that first little yawn and even though it scares me every time she goes to sleep, Liza has a blanket to snuggle.  But, if she wakes up, she wakes up.  If she needs to be nursed and rocked in the middle of the night, I will nurse and rock in the middle of the night.  If she is ready for the day at 4:30am, Taylor will start his day at 4:30am.  For us, there is a fine line of respecting Liza's baby needs and still fostering good sleep habits.

So there.  These are my thoughts about sleep.  And, I consider myself lucky that Liza cooperated in her morning nap this morning to let me write these thoughts about sleep.  Thanks, Little Baby Sister Girl!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We don't own a tv.

My one and only year living on my own, I decided only to pay for basic cable.  I had two main reasons -- basic cable was $12/month and I like vegging on the couch too much for comfort.  This was pre-laptop days for me so the tv was my constant companion and I was ready to cut back my viewing options in hopes that I would also cut back screen time.  I called the cable company and switched my plan.  I paid $12 a month......and still got all 72 channels.  Did I call to complain about all those free channels?  No.  I happily vegged and felt quietly pleased with the decrease in rates.  Even though I still watched all that television on all those channels, the seed of limiting television was planted in my brain.

Fast-forward a year:  Taylor and I were living together in a rinky-dink apartment with....yep, free cable.  At this point, I was pretty sure the tv gods wanted me to get my fix of reality tv so I never questioned the free cable.  Then, Katrina hit.  A Very Big Deal.  People lost their lives.  People lost their homes.  People lost confidence in the safety of coastal living.  We lost our free cable.  

For the next two years, Taylor and I made do watching 3 channels on a pair of rabbit ears my parents loaned us.  Vanna White and Charlie Sheen became my tv buddies.  I was surprised to learn that 3 channels are more than enough options.  Unlike in the days of 72 channels and the constant search for the 'perfect show,' when you only have 3 channels you choose the best available show and watch it.  Tv viewing simplified.

I liked having 3 channels.  It fulfilled me.  Then, Hen Hen was born and 3 channels became 3 channels too many.  

 A few things I don't like about screen time for kids:
Commercials.
Bad guys in movies.
That zoned-out blank look on Henry's face when he is if front of a screen.
The way Disney Channel portrays life as a teenager and preteen.  
Cartoon fights.
If you are watching tv, you are not playing or reading books.
Soaking up the messages of mainstream America is not the way we want to raise our kids.

So, that's that.  We don't own a television.  Of course, *I* get plenty of screen time because of, you know, my other career as a professional googler but that is a different post for a different day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"do ha"

 Henry's Early Intervention  case manager came to our house last week for the initial interview to determine which services Henry needs.  He had a packet with lots of jargon that harkened back to my school teaching days.

I started the interview by telling Richard, the case manager, that Henry's only issue was enunciation.  The child knows every word under the sun and speaks in concise sentences.....but, he rarely pronounces words in the proper manner.


Richard watched Henry play and chit-chatted with him as he quizzed me on Henry's development since birth.  We talked about his stint in OT and how pleased we were with Henry's progress once a professional was brought in to help with his solid food aversion.


The hour long interview ended with Richard in total agreement with me -- the kid needs speech therapy.


 I am really excited at the prospect of helping Henry improve his oral language skills because even though we know what he is saying, it certainly sounds like jabber to most people.

A few examples:

"ho do" = hot dog
"hu hu" = horse
      "Ju" = Joan aka his best friend
     "Bu" = Pops
      "ba" = popcorn
      "bu" = bird
       "tr"  = tree
     "bea" = beans


Oh, don't forget.........."do ha".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sleeping.

Our littlest biggest hit a major milestone last night.


Liza slept unswaddled.

Big.
Deal.


She is a 'blanket in the face' sleeper and I have a feeling this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with her favorite blanket.

Love her.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

sauteed broccoli my way.

I actually cooked a well-rounded meal last night:
turkey meatloaf, Israeli couscous, and sauteed broccoli.

I quickly remembered why I've been slacking on the cooking lately:
it's time consuming and exhausting.

Liza on my back in the Ergo is easy enough but keeping Henry happy post-nap can be tough.
Thankfully, he was satisfied rinsing the broccoli in the sink for an inordinate amount of time 
and eating raw couscous by the handful.  

Even thought he wouldn't touch the final product, 
he was glad to munch on raw broccoli after I acted like it was off-limits.....
ah, the power of reverse physcology on a two-year-old.

Sauteed Broccoli My Way

broccoli, washed and destemmed
2 tbsp coconut oil
garlic, minced or chopped
(1) lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
kosher salt

1. In a wok, heat coconut oil over medium heat.
2. Saute garlic until golden.
3. Add broccoli, lemon juice and chicken stock.  Stir and cover.
4. Cook until tender.
5. Salt to taste.

We have winners!

I used www.random.org to choose 3 winners from the 29 entrants on my 100 followers contest.

I can't seem to make screen shots do quite right so you'll have to trust me.....

   #12 -- Rebecca
   #3 -- Heather
#25 -- Amber

Strangely enough, Heather was also a winner on my 50 followers contest.
Random.org must think her kid is cute!


Winners, email me you the info you want on your address labels and I'll get them shipped to you soon!

Thanks for reading all about our messy messy life!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

rethinking cleaning.

So, quite a few people left a comment on my contest post about natural cleaning supplies........

I took the following picture and I wrote a post about my:
 *little bit of Simple Green, lot of vinegar, squirt of Dr. Bronner's and 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil cleaning spray*


Then, I started thinking about Simple Green.......
 And, I realized a bright green liquid with that 'so fresh and so clean clean' smell isn't very natural at all.
 Googling ensued and I decided to eliminate Simple Green from my cleaning solution.

Why add something with very questionable ingredients to my mix when it simply isn't needed?
Especially since this is my all-purpose cleaner for every room in the house so I spray it all.day.long with two little sets of lungs in close proximity. 

So, my new cleaning solution is:
*lots of white vinegar, big squirt of Dr. Bronner's, 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil and fill the bottle up with water*

Readers, thanks for making me rethink the way I clean....
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You know you want to share your favorite cleaning solution!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cloth Diaper Q&A #6 - How many diapers do I need?

Speaking from personal experience, you really don't need many diapers for one baby.

We started with 24 prefolds and 6 covers.
I washed diapers about every day and a half and this worked out just fine for us.

Then, Henry had 9 pockets and I used his prefolds as stuffers.
Still washed every day and a half.

Now, we have two kids in cloth -  36 prefolds with 5 covers, 10 pockets and 8 AIO's.
And, you guessed it.....I still wash about every day and a half.

My friend Alisha has 12 pocket diapers and she is perfectly satisfied with that number.

*Even if you have a massive amount of diapers, they still need to be washed every couple of days.  Ammonia from urine breaks down fibers and will eventually erode the quality of your diapers if they are left in the hamper for too long.*

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How many diapers do you have?
Do you feel like you have the perfect number, too many or do you need more?

Please share!

Less than $5.00!

Please excuse the quality of the picture as I brag about my thrift store and Dirt Cheap bargains!

L to R:
Palmer Home Thrift Store
gingham snowman longalls -- Liza will be super cute wearing this next winter!
5 books- 2 nonfiction science books, 1 book on good manners, 1 "hoho" book and a Dover maze book
Total Price..........$2.60

Dirt Cheap
2 rolls of wrapping paper
lamb winter hat 
Elmo and Cookie Monster toys
Cookie Monster costume
Total Price..........$2.12

What can I say?
I love a bargain!

sits and falls.


Liza sits all by her big girl self....until she falls over.
Then she is devastated for at least 5 minutes.

Don't even ask about the level of devastation when mama instincts
 throw a foot out to pad her fall from the hardwood floor.
 
A foot in the face and one of your very first tumbles do not mix for this little big girl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Odds and Ends.

Big Girl officially has two big girl teeth!  We are quite proud of her accomplishments and she is glad to show them to anyone willing to sit in the backseat of the car as she screams her little head off.  Otherwise, it's a crap shoot if you are lucky enough to see her new pearly whites.  I had some anxiety about these teeth but all is good in our nursing relationship.

Henry has developed a new mode of counting.  1.....2.....8!  One is one,  two is two and eight is any number greater than two.  Cute, huh?  He insists on reading 8 books at night and frequently asks for 8 pieces of baba.


I am not good at regiments.  My cloth diaper series weighs heavy on my mind because I don't like having to do something, even if it self-imposed.

My contest only has 17 entrants.  People?  Hello?  *tap tap*

I called my county's Early Intervention program today about getting Henry's speech evaluated.  He is speaking in complete sentences and knows every object under the sun but 80% of his words are only the first syllable and nothing more.  I'm a tad sensitive to speech issues since I received speech therapy for years and years.  I'm really hoping he qualifies for some services because he has been so slow in developing his oral language skills.  I'll update after his evaluation -- I know you will be on pins and needles...

Taylor is sweet.  I love him.  I'm feeling quite guilty about being mean to him when he pointed out that I left out the curry in my vegetable curry dish last night.  Sorry Tay, for trying to make you feel like you should be happy to eat curryless vegetable curry.

My mama friends and their little ducklings came to our house this morning for a wonderful playdate filled with the kids playing together with zero fussing.  I was thrilled to host because our house had gotten quite messy with random piles of stuff stacking up and I desperately needed a reason to clean up.


 I misplaced my camera battery charger for a few days.  I wasn't worried because I distinctly remembered putting it somewhere convenient so it would be super accessible the next time the battery needed charging.  The only problem was I had no idea where that convenient spot might be.  Yes, I am turning into my mother.  I was very pleased to finally locate it after having a dead camera for 3 days and yes, it was in a super convenient spot for recharging.

I am planning a trip to the thrift store tomorrow.  It is calling my name.  Laura Laura.  I have a feeling I am going to score big.  I'll be sure to update you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Q&A #5 -How much do cloth diapers cost?

Cloth diapers cost as much as you want to spend.
Seriously.

We were 'poor with a capitol P' when Henry was born.
We had the necessities but that was it.
Our first diapers - a prefold and covers package for about $90 - were the cheapest ones I could find online.
We have used those prefolds every.single.day for the past 2.5 years and Liza just outgrew the last of those covers.
From that orginal prefold package, I've bought larger covers and lots of used pockets and AIOs.
 I've spent about $350 in total since Henry was born.

Not bad considering all my babies will wear these same diapers.

To know me is to know I'm not that good with numbers.
But, I am good at googling and google tells me that disposable diapers cost about $60/month.
$60/month x 30 months =  $1,800

Wow.  That's a lot of money literally going in the trash.

So, I'm cheap and my budget is small.
I like buying used and I like a good deal.

But, if I wasn't so cheap and if we had extra spending money, I would definitely buy more diapers.
After all, they are ridiculously cute.

Don't even get me started on my current lust for skirties.

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Long story short, there is a cloth diaper for every budget.
You just have to make it work for you.

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Estimate how much you've spent on diapers.
Please.

Are you frugal like me or are you a sucker for cute fluff?

100 followers contest!

Add caption



I asked Henry to choose his favorite label.

He chose the "hoo hoo".
No surprise there.
The kid loves owls.

How to enter:
1. Follow this blog.
2. Leave a comment telling me what you want to see more of on my blog --
my cute kids (my personal choice!), natural childbirth, recipes, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, etc.

Easy, right?

I'll use random.org to choose 3 winners from the list of comments right before I go to bed on Friday, January 21. 

*The owner of Bowtieque Etsy store has never heard of me and is not sponsoring this contest*

Saturday, January 15, 2011

evolution of an early morning photo shoot.

I finally convinced Henry to participate in a photo shoot.
Who knew the promise of letting him look at the pictures on the camera was bribe enough?


I think I have some new favorite pictures of my little Rainbow Brite boy.


If 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' hadn't been repealed, I was going to send this kid to DC wearing these jammies.

Seriously.


I'm thinking about some big changes happening soon for this messy little blog of mine.


Blogger hates me these days and is less cooperative than a 2.5 year old getting his picture taken by his mama so the time is drawing near to move to WordPress and buy my own domain name.

Anybody moved a blog before?
I'm scared.
Very scared.


I'm also thinking about taking some sponsors.
I'm cheap.
Just ask Taylor.
He'll vouch for that a million times over.

If you are interested, send me an email.
WAHM business, Etsy shops, natural living......


My kids are getting bigger.
My house is getting messier.
My blog is getting busier.

I think I like it.
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*Still waiting for those last 3 followers so we can have a contest.*
I know you are out there.
It's very noncommittal to follow this blog.
Just do it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This kid cracks me up.

I left Henry alone on the couch for few moments as he searched for "Wa".
Where's Waldo?
There he is!
 He was quite proud to have found Waldo.
His pleasure was not limited by the fact he had turned to the last page of the book that only featured Waldo.

Cloth Diapers Q&A #4 - Where do you buy your diapers?

I live in Mississippi.
You are correct in assuming we do not have a local cloth diaper store.
If we did, I would support that fledgling little business and purchase diapers from that wonderful mama.
But, neither the store not the mama exists.

So, I buy from the internet.
Duh.

There are a million and one online cloth stores.
My favorites are:
Kelly's Closet.

I bought my original newborn package and several covers from Nicki's over the past few years and I have been so pleased with their prices and extremely high level of customer service.

 Kelly's Closet has a huge selection and there is always a deal going on.  I like deals.

But, to know me is to know that I like buying gently used items at a deeply discounted price.
My feelings on buying used applies to cloth diapers as well.

Used diapers?
Yuck.
No. No. No.

Used diapers?
Awesome.
Yes. Yes. Yes. 


I've bought a lot of used diapers and I have yet to be displeased with my purchase.
Mamas take good care of their cloth diapers.
And, gently used diapers generally sell for half the price of a new diaper.
I like it.

So, where do I buy used diapers?
Craigslist
Ebay
Diaperswappers
Cloth diaper swap board on Babycenter

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Where do you buy your diapers?
Do you have a local store to support?
Have you ever bought used diapers?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cloth Diaper Q&A #3 - How do you wash your diapers?

Have you already read and commented on Q&A #1 and Q&A #2?


Q&A #3 - What is your wash routine and what type of detergent do you use?
I won't lie.







Laundry might seriously kill me one day.

But.......
I actually like washing cloth diapers!

The 3 cycles seem intimidating at first.

But like Stella, you will get your groove.
I promise.

1. cold rinse - The length of the first rinse cycle depends on how many diapers I am washing.  With 2 kids in diapers, it usually means a pretty full load and I will use the "delicate" cycle as my first rinse.

2. hot wash with detergent - I use the "whites" cycle since it is the longest cycle on my old-fashioned top loader.

3. cold rinse -  The final rinse is to make sure all the detergent is thoroughly washed away from the diapers.  I use the actual "rinse" cycle.

What detergent should you use?  Most likely, not the detergent you are already using on your clothes.  In order to keep your diapers free ofabsorbency-issue causing buildup, you want to use a detergent free of perfumes, free of dyes and free of unnecessary additives.  

I've been washing all of our laundry with Maggie's Soap Nuts for the past month and I have been very pleased with the results.  And, I love love love that my laundry detergent grew on a tree in India.  As in, I really do love it.  No sarcasm here.  Seriously.  ****Turns out I DO NOT like soap nuts on cloth diapers!!!****

Prior to our soap nuts, I used my homemade concoction.  Via google, you will find many variations on my recipe but I like the fact that mine is soap free and all you have to do is mix the powders together and bam! you have detergent.  All 3 ingredients are found in the laundry detergent aisle.

homemade laundry detergent
Equal parts:
borax
washing soda
oxyclean -- I use the el cheapo Wal-Mart brand.
*I use one oxyclean scoop per load of diapers*

I really like how Jillian's Drawers explains why 'free and clear' detergents aren't good for cloth diapers and I like that that her list of good detergents is short and simple.  Of course, my two suggestions didn't make the list....but, whatever, I still like her list.

How much detergent should you use?  You will only use a quarter of the recommended amount for one load of diapers.   So, if you are like me and live in a dinky town that doesn't offer fancy additive free detergents and you choose to order detergent off the internet, it should last a long time.  I like that.

*Repeat after me*
If something doesn't work the first time,
try something different!


They're diapers,
 not rocket science.
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I'm looking for lots of comments.
Come on, folks.

If you use cloth diapers:
Is your wash routine similar to mine?
What detergent do you use?

If you are considering cloth diapers:
What part of washing diapers worries you the most?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cloth Diaper Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?
















Cloth Diaper Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?
















Personally, I prefer prefolds with covers and pocket diapers.

Huh?

Let me explain....
________________________________________________
Prefold Diaper
L to R:
infant size bleached Chinese prefold
toddler size unbleached Indian prefold


Prefolds are the original cloth diaper and the style of diaper my grandmother boiled in a big pot on her stovetop.  They are exactly what they look like:  super absorbent natural fiber towels.  They earned the clever name 'prefold' because it must be folded before you put in a cover.  While there are several different folding styles, I use the beyond-simple "trifold"
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Fitted Diaper
fitted diaper with snaps

In essence, a fitted diaper is like a prefold that snaps or velcros directly onto baby.  They are not covered in waterproof material and must be used with a cover.  
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Covers
cover with velcro

If Liza is wearing a prefold, this is usually the cover she has on top.   I fold the prefold, lay it in the cover and then put it on like any normal diaper.   This is a super cute girly cover made of PUL, a waterproof material.  You do not need a new cover with every diaper change, unless it gets poop on it.
.
L to R:
one size wool diaper cover with snaps
wool longies

Wool also makes great covers, as it naturally absorbs up to 30% it's weight in liquid.  My friend, Mandi, is going to explain the 'ins and outs' of wool in Cloth Diaper Q&A # 7 .
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Pocket Diaper

pocket diaper with snaps

L to R:

unstuffed pocket diaper
pocket diaper stuffed with microfiber insert

The outer layer of a pocket diaper is waterproof PUL and the inside layer that touches baby is fleece.  The fleece wicks away moisture from baby's skin keeping her dry.  See the 'pocket' cut into the fleece?  Hence, the name "pocket diaper".  I really like the versatility the pocket provides:  microfiber insert, prefold, hemp, double stuffed for nighttime, etc.
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All-In-One
       

L to R:
all-in-one diaper with velcro
all-in-one with a stuffable pocket

While the prefold and cover might be the "classic" cloth diaper, the all-in-one (AIO) is usually considered the easiest to use.  As the name explains, this diaper contains everything you need in one little package.  The outer shell is waterproof and you can see the absorbent liner built right into the inner-fleece lining in the 2nd photo.  Some AIOs, like the BumGenius pictured, feature a pocket for double stuffing making it friendly for superwetters and nighttime use.  This style is super easy to use but takes a long time to dry, which is a major con in my book.
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I didn't include any hybrid styles with flushable liners because I don't really get those kinds of diapers.  The covers are going to get pooped on because that's what happens with covers, especially if you feed your kids a high-fiber diet.  So, if you are going to wash the covers, why not wash the inserts too?  It really seems like quite the money making racket they've created for themselves.....
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If you use cloth diapers:
What is your favorite style?
Do you have lots of different styles or just one?

If you are considering cloth:
What style is the most appealing to you and why?

Cloth Diaper Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?









































Cloth Diaper Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?

Personally, I prefer prefolds with covers and pocket diapers.

Huh?

Let me explain....
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Prefold Diaper
L to R:
infant size bleached Chinese prefold
toddler size unbleached Indian prefold


Prefolds are the original cloth diaper and the style of diaper my grandmother boiled in a big pot on her stovetop.  They are exactly what they look like:  super absorbent natural fiber towels.  They earned the clever name 'prefold' because it must be folded before you put in a cover.  While there are several different folding styles, I use the beyond-simple "trifold"
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Fitted Diaper
fitted diaper with snaps

In essence, a fitted diaper is like a prefold that snaps or velcros directly onto baby.  They are not covered in waterproof material and must be used with a cover.  
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Covers
cover with velcro

If Liza is wearing a prefold, this is usually the cover she has on top.   I fold the prefold, lay it in the cover and then put it on like any normal diaper.   This is a super cute girly cover made of PUL, a waterproof material.  You do not need a new cover with every diaper change, unless it gets poop on it.
.
L to R:
one size wool diaper cover with snaps
wool longies

Wool also makes great covers, as it naturally absorbs up to 30% it's weight in liquid.  My friend, Mandi, is going to explain the 'ins and outs' of wool in Cloth Diaper Q&A # 7 .
__________________________________________________
Pocket Diaper

pocket diaper with snaps

L to R:

unstuffed pocket diaper
pocket diaper stuffed with microfiber insert

The outer layer of a pocket diaper is waterproof PUL and the inside layer that touches baby is fleece.  The fleece wicks away moisture from baby's skin keeping her dry.  See the 'pocket' cut into the fleece?  Hence, the name "pocket diaper".  I really like the versatility the pocket provides:  microfiber insert, prefold, hemp, double stuffed for nighttime, etc.
__________________________________________________
All-In-One
       

L to R:
all-in-one diaper with velcro
all-in-one with a stuffable pocket

While the prefold and cover might be the "classic" cloth diaper, the all-in-one (AIO) is usually considered the easiest to use.  As the name explains, this diaper contains everything you need in one little package.  The outer shell is waterproof and you can see the absorbent liner built right into the inner-fleece lining in the 2nd photo.  Some AIOs, like the BumGenius pictured, feature a pocket for double stuffing making it friendly for superwetters and nighttime use.  This style is super easy to use but takes a long time to dry, which is a major con in my book.
__________________________________________________

I didn't include any hybrid styles with flushable liners because I don't really get those kinds of diapers.  The covers are going to get pooped on because that's what happens with covers, especially if you feed your kids a high-fiber diet.  So, if you are going to wash the covers, why not wash the inserts too?  It really seems like quite the money making racket they've created for themselves.....
__________________________________________________

If you use cloth diapers:
What is your favorite style?
Do you have lots of different styles or just one?

If you are considering cloth:
What style is the most appealing to you and why?